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Not Self

By | 12/30/2021
Perhaps the most central aspect of the Buddha’s teaching is insight into the absence of a permanent self anywhere in subjective experience. In addition to the philosophical perspective of denying the existence of a permanent entity, important practical dimensions are the countering of self-centered conceit and of a tendency to appropriate ideas or objects as “mine” through possessiveness and clinging. The three dimensions of the teaching on not self that emerge in this way are conveniently expressed in a standard phrase found repeatedly in the early discourses, according to which one should contemplate any aspect of subjective experience as not being “mine,” not being what “I am,” and not being a “self.”[1] Contemplating any aspect of subjective experience in this way can target craving, conceit, and mistaken views in turn.

Holding on to Nothing is Liberation

By | 12/30/2021

Pull down the blind, tune out the time. Sitting hour after hour, from 4:30 in the morning until 9:00 o'clock at night. In silence. One day, two days, three days...

I sit, get up, stretch, sit, repeat. I observe the mind, coming and going. I recognize myself running away from the inevitable. I nod off the accumulated fatigue of the previous months. I procrastinate, postponing concentration with thoughts, thoughts, thoughts. I know the process well (or so I think), and still the mind plays tricks.

The Cow: In the Absence of Rumination, What Remains is Peace.

By | 12/15/2021

Geneticists tell us that cows and humans share about 80 per cent of their genes. Two eyes, two ears, a nose, lungs, liver, a heart, etc. Moreover—because of genetics—both have something else in common: they ruminate.

The cow brings up food already swallowed to chew it again, while humans bring up long-gone events, to chew them again.

Over millennia, the cow has slowly developed this ability, which has contributed to her very survival. Grazing too long in an open meadow, in danger, she has cultivated the ability to minimally chew grass and swallow it quickly, and then regurgitate and rechew it calmly later, out of the sun and away from predators.

Biologists call this intelligence. Can we say the same about humans?


Taming the Wild Bull

By | 12/14/2021

Adhiṭṭhāna

By | 12/7/2021
Aching,
Shaking,
Backbreaking.
Tranquilly sensed but, Painstaking.


The Tree of Merits

By | 12/5/2021
By the late nineteen fifties, the Indian community in Burma was divided. There were those who were sure they saw the handwriting on the wall. Being convinced that sooner or later a socialist regime would be installed, these people reasoned

Goenkaji's Italian Messenger of Dhamma

By | 12/5/2021

DHAMMA MAHI - August 1988

The first two courses at Dhamma Mahi in Louesme, France, were conducted by Goenka and managed by Gerhard and me (Pierluigi). The courses were hosted in a big white tent where about a hundred students participated in each course. In the second course, there were approximately 30 Italian students. Probably the influence of an Italian manager with 30 Italian students gave Goenka a particular idea.

Compassionate Recall - Day 4

By | 12/5/2021
I woke up in the morning thinking I was waking up from a dream; the dream being the commitments I had made to myself the previous day. Suddenly, I felt a lot less sure about myself. I thought I must have been on some sort of meditation high—maybe an over oxygenation of my brain due to improved breathing or circulation—to have come up with such implausible goals as completely abstaining from alcohol, the embarrassing prospect of apologizing to those I might have offended while dealing with them in difficult situations, or pledging to forgive others who have wronged me in indelibly hurtful ways.
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